VIDEO: Valencia 0 – 2 Barcelona [Copa del Rey] Highlights 2017/18
Barcelona came to the Copa del Rey FINAL for a fifth year consecutively on account of Philippe Coutinho’s first GOAL for the club against Valencia.
Philippe Coutinho scored his first GOAL for Barcelona as they secured a 2-0 prevail upon Valencia on Thursday and a 3-0 AGGREGATE VICTORY in their Copa del Rey semi-final.
The Brazil superstar, a €160million signing from Liverpool a month ago, fell off the seat to break the gridlock before Ivan Rakitic fixed the win and kept the Catalans’ expectations of a treble alive.
Coutinho was maybe shockingly let alone for the beginning line-up for Andre Gomes at Mestalla as head mentor Ernesto Valverde named a solid side that included Gerard Pique, who recuperated in time from a knee issue.
Valencia had lost their last three matches consecutively however looked the more risky in the principal half, with Rodrigo Moreno fueling their most obvious opportunity off the underside of the crossbar.
Coutinho’s wonderful half-time presence changed the course of the game, however, the midfielder clearing home a cross from fellow former Liverpool man Luis Suarez, who additionally set up his first goal for the Premier League club back in February 2013.
Rakitic completed in style after more great work from Suarez, which means Barca will meet Sevilla in the last in a rehash of the 2016 standoff, after Vincenzo Montella’s side beat Leganes 3-1 more than two legs.
The two goalkeepers were tried in the opening 10 minutes, with Jasper Cillessen asserting a Francis Coquelin shot before Lionel Messi’s free-kick was beaten gymnastically away by Jaume Domenech.
The conclusion to-end nature of the amusement proceeded as Rodrigo shook the crossbar with a fine header from Jose Gaya’s cross, and Suarez neglected to control a pinpoint go from Andres Iniesta two minutes after the fact.
Valencia looked sharp on the counter-assault and appeared the more prone to break the stop, with Cillessen again called enthusiastically to deny Rodrigo.
Coutinho supplanted Gomes at the break to give Barca all the more a risk going ahead and the choice paid off four minutes into the second half. Suarez crashed into the punishment zone down the left and crossed towards the far post, where Coutinho extended to transform the ball back crosswise over objective and into the left-hand corner.
The goal appeared to sap the conviction from the Mestalla swarm and the Valencia players and Suarez almost twisted home a moment Barca goal after a maintained time of ownership for the guests.
Messi saw a shot spared by Domenech and Martin Montoya blocked Jordi Alba’s bounce back wide, in spite of the fact that the previous Barca man was fortunate not to surrender a punishment, with the ball plainly striking his arm.
Simone Zaza let go a decent possibility over the bar as Valencia pushed forward for a life saver, with Rakitic twice shooting wide on the break as the home side looked uncovered at the back.
Gaya thought he had divided the shortage with quarter of a hour left however Cillessen created one of the recoveries of the season to hinder his exertion from point-clear range and turn the ball past the post.
The stop demonstrated crucial as, with eight minutes left, Suarez stole back ownership and sustained Rakitic, who let go home from simply inside the crate to protect the win.
The main worry for Barca will be seeing Pique in evident inconvenience after going off late on to be replaced by €11.8m man Yerry Mina, who made his debut appearance.